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UCF is the Best Bet in College Football

Central Florida quarterback Brandon Wimbush (3) runs the ball during an NCAA football game against Florida A&M on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019 in Orlando, Fla.

The University of Central Florida Knights have been on a remarkable run since 2017 as part of the AAC’s rise into the conversation of being a “Power Six” football conference.

Along the way, UCF had two undefeated seasons and a 25-game win streak culminating in an eight-point loss to SEC powerhouse LSU in last year’s Fiesta Bowl.

While the Knights aren’t even in the College Football Playoff discussion (again) due largely to their strength of schedule, they have quietly turned into a spread-covering machine for bettors.

During their undefeated 2017 campaign, the Knights were 8-4-1 vs the number and increased that success to 9-4 ATS in 2018.

So far on the 2019 schedule under head coach Josh Heupel, UCF is 3-0 against the spread, easily covering a massive 44 points in dismantling Florida A&M before covering 13.5 vs Florida Atlantic nearly by a factor of three in a 48-14 win. That’s the same Owls team that covered and scored 21 points against CFP contender Ohio State in Week 1. The Knights then rolled to another easy spread win vs Stanford in Week 3.

Quick math tells us that UCF is 20-8-1 vs the spread since the beginning of the 2017 season and 12-3 ATS in its last 15 games. 

TeamATS Since Week 1 2018
UCF12-3
Louisiana-Lafayette12-4
Utah State11-3
Washington State11-4
Fresno State10-4-1
UAB10-5

Theories on UCF Success 

They Feel Disrespected and Take No Prisoners

This team and its fan base have been quite vocal about the Knights’ treatment in the playoff conversation in a certainly imperfect system. On the field, UCF has adopted the “control the controllables” mindset and it’s working for them.

Maybe Josh Heupel Just Covers Spreads

Before leaving Missouri, where he was the offensive coordinator and QB coach, the Tigers went on a 7-2 ATS run to finish the 2017 season. That means that Josh Heupel-coached offenses are 19-6 ATS since October 7, 2017.

They’re Simply A Good Football Team

Lastly, have we considered the fact that the Knights are just a very competent football team?

Last year, UCF finished with the fifth-most yards per game on offense and the No. 6 scoring offense. Defensively they were No. 24 in points against and No. 32 in passing yards allowed.

So far in 2019, the Knights have the No. 6 scoring offense and own the No. 19 scoring defense.

I’m betting on them to cover vs Pittsburgh this week and unless oddsmakers start adjusting, I’ll be backing them for the foreseeable future.